At worst meaning that he can be Top 2 (lol he'll never be champion as long as people love Pikachu).
I'd like to hope that Unova was just the writers overcompensating for making his AG and DP teams better than the original series barring Charizard.
I root for the kid but the writers have it in for him.
Does winning a regional championship automatically end his story? All other shonen protagonists win many tournament arcs but Ash is cursed to finish no better than Top 4 for now.
3 years should be fine.
There's a pretty long gap between Viola and Grant though (even longer than the gap between the next four gyms combined). I think we'll see October 2014 around Shalour City and the fight against Korrina. Then from there it's a pretty quick progression unless they take...